Well I never planned on writing a 24 blog but sometimes you just have to roll with the, uh, lemonade. Or something. In any case, after flopping around most of the season the show got better and worse. The good part is that we may now start to see the conspiracies within conspiracies that's been fun in the past. The bad part is almost everything else. The Morris guilt subplot is appropriate and has potential but it's really dragging and becoming increasingly implausible (even for a show that thrives on implausibility). Too bad because the actor is one of the best ones on the show; not saying much admittedly but he could really run if they only gave him the material. My guess is that they're setting up Morris for a redemptive death towards the end. And why would pragmatic Jack decide to go after his dad alone? Well he claimed "it's personal" and half the viewers choked on the idea that the writers would think anybody could get away with that phrase and not spark laughter. It's personal? Is this some direct-to-video C-movie? And then Jack unburdens his heart ("I just had to go my own way") while Executioner Dad inexplicably slinks away. I kinda hope Dad has decided to be some kind of triple-agent and actually help Jack from the shadows while atoning for his crimes. Somehow I'm sure that's not the case and this too will remain more or less random. Hey, at least I called it right about the Ally McBeal guy having second thoughts about the assassination. That whole line is dragging as well. This being 24 the president could easily go up in a bomb and given this president most of us are probably rooting for that; whatever you wanna say about Powers Boothe you know he's got more whistles blowing and balls juggling even if we have so far barely met his character.
What's really pulling the show down is the leaden dialogue, not even fun enough to be ludicrous. This is a show that's rarely cared about much beyond getting from A to B to C but the dialogue has moved from servicable to so clunky it throws you out of the show. Not just the "it's personal" or the pre-death speech. Morris and Chloe don't even sound like human beings let alone people who'd been married for years. Ally McBeal guy gets suckered by a boilerplate "I value your opinion" (which of course usually means exactly the opposite). If this is the best--or even cruising on automatic--the writers can do it's definitely a good thing they never followed through on the promise that this season would be about Jack rebuilding himself from A Dark Place. It's clear that these people are simply incapable of writing that.
Oh, I did like that most of the stuff from last week's previews were covered in the first few minutes so we don't spend all hour for a surprise we already knew.